A Guide to Modern Politics

A Guide to Modern Politics

A Guide to Modern Politics

A Guide to Modern Politics

Excerpt

The department of life which is called Politics is becoming, in these days, very large and very insistent. More and more subjects enter daily into the domain of the political State; more and more is the politician or statesman supposed to be an expert on the most diverse questions; more and more do politics enter into and affect the lives of millions of people who in past generations would have lived and died without concern with the political machine. It is true that in Great Britain and the United States for many years the scope of politics was far more restricted than in some continental countries; over the whole field of industry and finance, for example, political control was long confined to the minimum. Even in these countries, however, the situation has been steadily changing. If we leave out of consideration for the moment the special experiences of the war, and also any proposals which have been made by Socialist parties, we find that the past fifty years have seen in Great Britain an enormous expansion of the field of direct government, and latterly of State intervention in industrial and commercial questions. Before the war, the growth of "the bureaucracy" was a frequent theme of complaint among individualist capitalists; since the war "the bureaucracy" has continued to grow; while the United States, as these words are being written, seems to be in process of making a great leap from a highly laissez-faire to a partly State-controlled system.

These changes, however, pale before the much greater changes that have taken place in Russia, Italy, and Germany. Widely as they differ in essentials, the Communist and Fascist systems have this in common, that in both the State is not merely omnicompetent but . . .

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